back to article Police union leader calls for 'killer games' sales ban

A senior German police official has called for violent videogames to be banned. Heini Schmitt, head of the Hessen branch of the German police union, wants sales of these games to be blocked because, he claimed, “in every situation in which a violent rampage has occurred”, the perpetrator had an “addiction to so-called killer …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    We should all just sit quietly in an empty room until it's time for us to work again.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Well there's a shock - filth the world over are the same. Ban fantasy, ignore the semi-automatic weapons and competitive upbringing.

  3. Simon Neill

    Morons and their research...

    Causality fallacy here. These people assume that nutters play violent video games a lot and thus become violent killers. My belief is just the opposite, these people have pre-existing violent tenancies that cause them both to become killers and play the violent video games.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    ze germans

    will probably try to take over the world again, remove them all now!

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Wrong target perhaps?

    Also, "Extensive research has shown that in 100% of mass shootings, the killer has been using a gun".

    Maybe they should look at controlling weapons before looking at games.

  6. Cameron Colley

    Ban the bog!

    I'm sure the buy spent at least a few minutes of every day having a dump -- should we ban that too?

  7. David

    It so true!

    I spent hours playing viva pinata. Now i'm addicted to working in the garden, inviting pinata type things that have a mind of their own and move around in polygon form, then smacking the crap out of them with a spade......

  8. Steve

    Not just games

    Oh no, he played Counterstrike. I bet he used an office application too. Should we ban word processors because someone who went on a killing spree had spent hours using them?

    Clearly someone has decided that the use of a spreadsheet doesn't lead to violence, but yet a game does? (In my experiences the reverse is true - my frustration levels rise trying to figure out how to do tasks in Excel, but playing a bit of an FPS allows me to release my tension in a controlled and safe way)


  9. andy gibson

    What a dick

    I reckon the argument that the gunman who shot and killed 20 at a convenience store / school / whatever also had a fetish and fascination for guns. So why not ban them instead?

  10. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    Yeah, go for it!

    FFS! I'm going back to harmless games like Cowboys and Indians, harmless games that promote caring and inclusivity in our troubled times.

  11. The Jase
    Jobs Horns

    What about?

    What about:

    video nasties

    Dungeons and Dragons

    Rap Music

    Heavy Metal Music

    Rock Music



    The Devil?

    Every decade or so a new "evil" comes along and everyone blames that for bad people doing bad things.

    Jobs with horns, because he is the devil.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Correlation and cause aren't the same thing...

    > “in every situation in which a violent rampage has occurred”, the perpetrator had an “addiction to

    > so-called killer games”.

    In every situation in which a violent rampage has occurred, the perpetrator had an addiction to oxygen as well. I wonder if Plod is going to call for that to be outlawed...

    There's certainly grounds for some investigation into whether or not violent games cause violent behaviour outside the game, but simply deciding that it is so without even a shred of proof is demonstrably foolish.

  13. REDKola

    Feck right off!

    So everything should be banned then?

    Using his logic - “when a chance to remove a probable cause exists, it must be used”

    ok so I guess no one should be allowed to drive a car incase they speed...?

    I'm so fed up of these people who don't like things and decide they should be banned - am I not allowed to make a mature, informed decision?

    The guy that went on the rampage in Germany was addicted to counterstrike - how many people play the game and don't end up going out and shooting people? I be he was into heavy metal too - don't get me started!


  14. Michael

    My own research

    My own research shows that it is probable that almost every killer in recent history has shopped in a supermarket and, at one time or another, has been in a motor vehicle. These must be banned immediately as a sensible precaution.

    I totally agree that GTA should also be banned. One of the most boring games I have ever witnessed....

  15. DavCrav Silver badge

    Gamer calls for 'killer police' ban

    I think it's terrible that every time there's a police shooting, there's normally a policeman involved. Now there's no proof that all police are violent thugs that kill innocent people, but surely we should ban all police, because “when a chance to remove a probable cause exists, it must be used”.

    While we're at it, every hospital I've seen is full of drugs. Now drugs are bad, mmmkay, and so while there's no proof that hospitals are evil, etc. etc.

    STFU until you work out the difference between A implies B and B implies A.

    That is all.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. min
    Thumb Down


    admit you don't know he's guilty, but hang him anyway???

    what is wrong with these people? why are such blatant arses allowed into positions of such responsibility?

    the world needs a more tempered morality where such 'gut-feelings' are only allowed in the privacy of one's own bath..

  18. Anonymous Coward

    madness part II

    Life has been shown as the biggest cause of death and will now be confiscated from you all

  19. Pat

    Conditional probability FAIL

    P(killer | videogames) does not equal P(videogames | killer)

    Same old prosecuters fallacy.

  20. Matthew


    So everyone who plays these games is an addicted killer?

    When will they learn that its a symptom not a cause.

    I'm sure they watch violent movies too. Perhaps they should ban every movie with a shooting scene in it?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I vote for...

    I vote for a disbandment of the police force - 100% of false imprisonments are caused by the police arresting people and therefore to stop this scourge we must rid ourselves of the police force!

    Is that the same sort of logic?

    I just hope the German Gov. ignore this womble - otherwise back in Blighty our beloved Komrade Gordon Brown (KGB for short) will be following suit within 6 months.

  22. David Hicks

    Give it a rest

    I've been playing "killer" video games since I was five. That's (sadly) 25 years.

    Apart from the odd scuffle when I was at school I have yet to get into a single fight, let alone murder anyone.

    Video games are now so ubiquitous that it's very likely that nearly every computer-owning male has at least one FPS that the police and media can use to hype their agenda.

    Probable cause my heini.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ... the only surprise here is that a shop is actually doing something, although banning 18+ rated games probably doesn't cover that many games (fairly sure it would cover counterstrike anyway, not that it should...) films too? that's slightly more surprising.

    what isn't surprising are the protests from police chiefs and whoever which are entirely predictable. Find something easy to blame - saves having to do any serious investigation into possible reasons...

  24. John A Blackley

    Never presume

    "Presumably, Schmitt hasn’t seen 2008's games sales figures for Germany. According to market watcher GfK, the country’s videogame sales topped €695m (£642m/$940). Grand Theft Auto IV was one of the most popular titles."

    ......... and that could have no bearing whatsoever on his decision to call for a ban?

  25. Tim
    Black Helicopters

    And there were no killing sprees BEFORE GTA IV?

    Get a grip Herr Rozzer.... Surely the urge to play the game is fed from the violent tendancy, not the other way around. And here's a MASSIVE clue. If there are NO GUNS, then NOBODY CAN SHOOT EACH OTHER! Can he explain how massacres have been happening for decades without these here convenient games?

    Is this fella suggesting that anyone who plays these games has the tendancy to go crazy ape bonkers and slaughter everyone in sight? to quote on of the smarter of "america's next top models"..... Oh no you di'ent!

    Helicopter. cos then you can gun' em all down from the air , BWAHAHAHA!

  26. Goatan

    Research first. . .

    Another fine example of how these memebers of society have done zero research.

    Since the invention of the "violent video games" there has been a dcraese in record incidents of violent crime. Infact if the trend continues the figures sugguest that the only person not playing the game is more likely to be the person commiting the crime.

    But then again I could be pointing out that statistics are meaning less as they can be used to support any theory such as bread is evil.

  27. g e

    Blah Blah Blah

    So WTF do you become through playing Viva Piñata then?

  28. dervheid

    “when a chance to remove a probable cause exists, it must be used”

    Now, when have we heard that sort of rhetoric from a German in uniform before?

    Let me think...

    Flames, as it'll be the books next, you know...

  29. Bad Beaver

    Sick of this

    As a German, I strongly demand for a banning of populist politicians with reactionary mindsets trying to exploit drama in an election year. I also demand the banning of short-sighted argumentation contra "killer games". The most unfortunate events around isolated kids losing it do not create the need to render a very valid (if sometimes tasteless) and popular form of entertainment VERBOTEN. The less kids are able to project their aggression into harmless games and sports, the more they will take it to the streets, taking on each other and the general population.

    It makes me really, really angry. Forbidders need to be forbidden.

  30. Andraž Levstik


    It was later claimed that the killer spent hours playing videogames, including Counter Strike.

    I do that as well... but never had an urge to go shoot real people... And I tend to have quite an overactive imagination at the best of times but then I enjoy being disconnected from reality.

    Guns don't kill people, people kill people

    Videogames don't kill people, people kill people

  31. Shaun

    I can think of one

    “in every situation in which a violent rampage has occurred”, the perpetrator had an “addiction to so-called killer games”

    I can think of one famous german "violent rampage" about 70 years ago in which the perpetrator didn't have an “addiction to so-called killer games”

  32. JP Sistenich


    What's more likely: That violent video games cause people to want to cause violence; or that violent people are drawn towards playing violent video games?

    The Galleria Kaufhof have done the right thing to show the absurdity of this proposal: If depicting violence causes violence, then the films have to go. Half the TV shows must go off air: CSI, Law & Order, The Bill, Eastenders, Hollyoaks, House. All contain some form of violence.

    This is once again the state attempting to rectify the wrongs of neglient parenting by over-reacting.


  33. Anonymous Coward


    Millions of people play so called violent video games EVERYDAY!

    One or two nutters go off and shootup a school and suddenly they want all the games banned!

    How about Need for Speed encouraging high speed/dangerous driving?

    Or the Lego Star Wars convincing people that there is some all powerful force that controls everything - i.e. making heathens of everyone!

    Violent movies, violent books, watching the daily news bulletins on BBC?


    Nah, let's just blame the games cos that'll get me lots of coverage in the news...

  34. stefan

    what a muppet

    bloke is a complete muppet. the recent shooting that took place in germany the kid so called addictive killer game was COUNTER STRIKE. Stupid bloke needs to clean the streets up instead of wasting his time preaching rubbish he has no idea about. It was bloody counterstrike for gawwwwds sake.

  35. Robert Hill

    WOW...cause and effect?

    Do these people EVER get the concept of cause and effect? Or of casual relationships between actions? And with nearly all kids playing video games, what are the chances that a given nutcase WOULDN'T have been playing one - even if it had nothing to do with their state of mind?!?!? You may as well ban saurkraut, as I can bet the perp in Germany had eaten that recently before his rampage - and with just as much probable cause in his crime.

    Oh my, if only public officials actually had to take a probability course once in their life, maybe we could be spared such restrictions on our liberties...and publically available stupidity.

  36. Anonymous Coward


    I hate these people that are in positions of power but can´t add 1 and 1 with out getting 265. How big is the procentage of young males playing violent computer games? 80, 90 % There is a very high proberbility that when a young male is involved in anything he also plays violent computer games. The real problem here seems to be that police officers, politicians and so forth have a problem distinguising between fiction and reality. If violent computer games increased the liklihood that a person acts out violence there would be millions of school shootings. A retail stores leap to ban mature games is just sad. We don´t need Retail chains, private interest groups and so forth "protecting" us.

  37. M7S

    They're just jealous.

    The Germans dont make games software as good as anyone else and every time they try the live action version, at which to be fair they are quite innovative, a couple of years later everyone else gest their act together and they get sent home again.

  38. Kravex


    "It was later claimed that the killer spent hours playing videogames, including Counter Strike. ®"

    Soooo he purchased a gun through Counter Strike? So everyone who plays Counter Strike is going to kill people? I don't see any connection myself.

  39. Paul R
    Thumb Down


    Repeat after me...

    Correlation is not evidence of causation.

    Correlation is not evidence of causation.

    Correlation is not evidence of causation.

  40. Roy Stilling

    Violent games

    I'd love to know when a game stops being "violent". Some of my favourite games have allowed me to commit space priracy (Elite), commit arson (SimCity), cause train crashes (Transport Tycoon) and commit genocide (Civilisation). Are they to be banned too?

  41. Lionel Baden

    why is this in the hardware section ??


    take everybody who plays violent games and tell me the amount who actually go round shooting people please ??

    These people are wrong in the head and a game just isnt going to change that.

    I play loads of shooting games or games that basically mean i have to "beat" the other player

    I would also love to know how they classify the Addiction ?? they may as well say i am addicted because i play games almost every single evening. But when i am away i dont exactly get cold turkey from not playing.

    Hell i could even lose the computer and not play at all

    Yeah i'd miss it but addicted !! common thats just a bullshit excuse

  42. Paul R
    Thumb Down

    Presumably then...

    ...he'll also ban bread and water because I'll bet that in 99% of violent crime cases both of these will have been comsumed with 24 hours of the crime.


  43. Hollerith

    So that explains...

    All murders that result from domestic discord? All murders done for someone to get their hands on some money?

    Before the violent video game, we had toy guns, and these were supposed to make maddened killers of children and adults with impressionable minds. Discouraging the plastic Uzi at ToysRus certainly led to a drop in violence and murders... um, not.

    Until we find out via valid research that violent videos are the cause or enhancer of violent feelings, rather than, say, being a symptom of violent feelings that would have erupted anyway, I wouldn't rush out to lock the barn doors.

  44. Wolf

    There goes chess then

    Everyone knows that chess is simply stylized warfare and teaches basic principles of mass murder. (rolling eyes)

    "Probable cause"? "no proof of connection"? Mistaking the order of cart and horse are we?

    Today video games. Tomorrow role playing games. The day after that board games like chess.

    A slippery slope indeed when greased by idiocy.

  45. Tony Paulazzo


    So, person who wants to kill in reality plays games that allow him to kill virtual people. Wow, major shocker!

    Could you imagine if all games that portray violence were banned? the entire games industry would basically collapse.

    Y'know, it makes me wonder why people killed each other before computer games were invented.

    This police union leader should be sacked for stupidity - IM <not so very> HO.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Deja vu all over again

    Why is it that every time there's a shooting, knifing, or other violent incident, computer games get the blame? (That is a rhetorical question, btw.)

    No-one ever asks about the video gaming habits of anyone who does something heroic. What would happen if it were revealed that firemen play 'GTA', surgeons play 'Counter Strike' or the pilot that landed his plane on the Hudson plays 'Postal' to relax?

    Just a thought.

  47. Chris

    Flawed Logic

    Correlation does not prove causation?

  48. Matt Devney
    Thumb Down

    If I may change the statement ever so slightly...

    Heini Schmitt, head of the Hessen branch of the German police union, wants sales of these sandwiches and crisps and other digestible foodstuffs to be blocked because, he claimed, “in every situation in which a violent rampage has occurred”, the perpetrator had a "meal sometime beforehand”.

    Get cause and effect sorted, halfwit.

  49. Chris

    Liberty City

    Oh when the Vikings came to England; raped people and burnt down villages, that too was because they had played Grand Rape Village for 3 hours a night.....

  50. Anonymous Coward

    Remove Germans

    As a German man killed and eat his friend, may I suggest we remove germans just to prevent this type of thing.

    the one with sauteed penis in the pocket.


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